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Beirut motorists already started driving in new 'bicycle lane' Open in fullscreen

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Beirut motorists already started driving in new 'bicycle lane'

The new bike lane in Beirut is already facing some difficulties [Twitter]

Date of publication: 29 April, 2017

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Beirut's first and only bicycle lane - all 20 metres of it - has faced a rocky start after several motorists have been photographed driving through it.

A new plan to make Beirut go cycle-friendly has gotten off to a rocky start, after pictures have emerged of drivers traversing into a new car-free cycle lane.

The new bike lane in the Downtown area was only laid less than a week ago, but some cars have been photographed driving over the line - or even parking in the bike lane.

Supporters of the bike scheme have been quick to point out that the 20 metre-long bike lane was empty at the time. Others on social media also said that more needs to be done to raise awareness of bicycles in a city where bike riders are few and far between.

Lebanon launched its first bike sharing scheme in the town of Byblos project in January, supported and financed by private entities Bike 4 All and The IBL Bank.

In Beirut, the municipality will reportedly provide the space for 25 similar bike hiring stations, but will not be making any financial contribution.

If successful, the project could be expanded to cover other major cities, such as Tripoli in the north, where a limited cycling lane was launched recently but was unsucessful, and Sidon and Byblos.

One of the organisers behind the project, Jawad Sbeity, posted on social media that he wanted Beirut to be a bike friendly city by 2030.

The bike scheme has received broad support from the government, but not much is known on the Prime Minister's personal opinion of the scheme.

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